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July 31, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, the probate laws in Ontario changed. An executor who applies for a Certificated of Appointment of Estate Trustee (“Probate Certificate”) will be required to file an “Estate Information Return” within 90 days after the certificate is issued. Detailed Estate Information is required to be filed within 90 days with details of how the estate value was determined. The Minister of Finance now can audit your information for up to 4 years after receiving the Probate Certificate. If the Minister determines through audit that the estate values were understated, the Minister can issue an assessment or reassessment. Executors, who fail to file returns as required or make false or misleading statements, can be liable for penalties and/or imprisonment. In the past, you could wind up an estate within 1 to 2 years after the person passed away but under the new laws, that will now increase to between 4 and 5 years, if the assets of the estate need to be probated. The implications for now being an executor are very different under the new laws.